Wednesday, January 19, 2022

IBS-26 The Timeless Truth of Matthew 8:5-13

The Big Idea: Ten steps to Timeless Truth is a bit complex so here is an example from Matthew using the ten steps.

Last week I presented ten steps to find a timeless truth of a Bible passage. Let’s work through Matthew 8:5-13 using the ten step method.

Ten Steps using Matthew 8: 5-13

1. Pray.

2. Read the passage (including other Bible translations). ESV, NIV, NLT

When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. Matthew 8:5-13 ESV

3. Discern the context:

Author – Matthew the tax collector a disciple of Jesus

Audience – Matthew wrote especially to Jewish Christians

Time period, location – About 30 AD, first century Israel, in Capernaum the ministry base for Jesus. Matthew probably wrote about 50 AD

Cultural Era – Roman power invaded every walk of life in Israel. Jews were treated poorly.

Book theme - Jesus was the long awaited Messiah to bring the Kingdom of God to the world. (From the ESV study Bible)

Chapter and surrounding chapters review (and section headings). The Sermon on the mount preceded this passage. Chapter 8 headings: Jesus cleanses a leper, the Faith of a Centurion, Jesus heals many, The cost of following Jesus, Jesus calms a story, Jesus heals two men with demons. A lot of headings are about healing.

4. Type of writing: Narrative story about a soldier who needs a servant healed.

5. Read the passage again picturing yourself there.

Picture the time period and surroundings. A busy small town on the Sea of Galilee with shops, a synagogue, a lot of people bustling around.

Note who is present and the type of situation. Jesus has gathered followers listening to everything He says and does (v 10). He may have been at the countryside (Sermon on the Mount by the Sea of Galilee) as the story occurred when He entered town.

Note a Centurion is a soldier in command.

6. Author's Intent

Intentional audience – Jewish believers.

Tone of the passage – Amicable. Centurion asking Jesus for a favor, asking very humbly. Jesus amazed at his faith.

Passage purpose: a exemplary example of faith; the faith of a Roman soldier showing faith at work beyond Jewish people.

Why included in the Bible: To highlight faith, especially of some who were outside the Jewish people, from early in Jesus’ ministry.

7. Describe the passage in a sentence. Example: A Roman military leader humbly asks Jesus to heal his servant.

8. Pray over ambiguities or concerns. The role of a Roman Centurion is worth looking up.

9. The Point of the author in a sentence. Example: Jesus is amazed by a non- Jew’s faith and heals his servant from long distance.

10. A timeless culture-free statement. Example:  Bring Jesus your needs humbly acknowledging He is Lord of the universe.

Next week a simplified easy-to-remember five step list will be available for those with less experience in inductive Bible Study. I appreciate feedback that ten steps is too complex for those less experienced in Bible study and Bible background.